Happy birthday to a longtime, great friend

Published 9:16 am Thursday, February 18, 2016

On Feb. 9, someone very special in my life celebrated a very special day. One of my best friends, Madison Christine Mickelson, turned 20! Madison and I have had a lot of memories during our friendship.

It all started in eighth grade. In Ms. Wilken’s (now Grimmius) English class, we were learning about the child slaves in Africa. One of the things we learned about was ways we could help. We discovered a company that you could knit bears for and send them in. The bears would then be delivered to rescued children. Madison and I would sit in English together and knit bears. Also, for some reason I don’t remember, we started eating fruit snacks in English together every day, too.

The summer after eighth grade, I was going through some tough times. To my surprise, one day a package showed up in my mailbox, addressed to me. Confused, I opened it up. It was a box of fruit snacks and a card from Madison. Small gestures like that are what make friends so great.

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Our senior year of high school, Madison and I started to hang out more and more. That year, we had economics together. One day, I was working on my column during class. Madison asked what I was doing, so I explained to her that I wrote a weekly column for the newspaper. Ever since then, she has read all of my columns. She even got in trouble sometimes for reading the newspaper during class. How fitting is it to dedicate this column to one of my most dedicated readers?

Now that we’re both in college, I’ll go visit her in Winona occasionally. When she’s home, we usually go get boneless wings and smoothies together and catch up on the time we’ve lost while doing our own thing.

So Madison, here’s to your 20th birthday. I hope it was filled with laughter and great memories with mama Patti. From screaming the lyrics to “Wasting All These Tears” at the top of our lungs, to having typical girl gossip, to watching scary movies in lawn chairs, you are a great friend and you deserve the greatest birthday! Who knows? Maybe next year we’ll spend your day in Las Vegas together. Happy birthday, diva.


Erin Murtaugh is an undergraduate at Bemidji State University studying elementary education. She can be reached at murtaugh.erin@gmail.com.